Amazon Suffers From Another Data Leak: 400,000 Compromised

Online retail giant Amazon has suffered from another security incident. This time, sellers in India are the ones being impacted.

Last November, online retail giant suffered a data leak ahead of Cyber Monday. The timing, of course, couldn’t have been much worse then that. While it seems that the company didn’t get any more publicity on the security front, it looks like data security concerns are once again rearing for the company.

According to the Economic Times of India, Amazon has suffered from yet another data leak. This time, 400,000 sellers could have had tax returns leaked to unauthorized third parties. Amazon has admitted to the leak and said that the issue has since been fixed. From the report:

“On Sunday, some sellers who attempted to download Merchant Tax Reports for the month of December 2018 experienced a technical issue. Our teams identified the issue and resolved it on priority and sellers were soon able to download the correct MTR reports,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

A source in Amazon said that only around 0.2% of the company’s seller base was exposed by the data breach.

Sellers who were affected said they were able to download tax reports of different vendors up until late Monday. Amazon then took down the section for sellers to download the reports, before reopening it to them a few hours later with the issue seemingly fixed.

When Ankit (alias) who sells smartphone accessories on Amazon logged into e-commerce site on Sunday to download his tax report for December, he was shocked to find that the inventory reflected in it did not tally with what he had sold. Upon closer inspection, he realised that the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) on the report was someone else’s.

“I was surprised to see that several of my clients had uploaded reports that were not their own. Being a seller myself I saw that the MTR wasn’t my own when I downloaded it. Most of the sellers who sent me the reports faced the same issue,” said an Amazon seller who also runs a service of filing GST returns on behalf of other e-commerce sellers.

Considering the size of Amazon, with two data leaks happening within months of each other, it’s actually kind of impressive the company hasn’t got more publicity for these errors. It’s not as though they are devoid of critics at this point and two data leaks is certainly powerful ammunition for critics.

It’s certainly possible that this issue will also just evaporate like the last data leak. After all, for North Americas, India can seem like a far off and unrelated place. Since it’s simply affecting residents of India, this issue may too just fade away in favour of other more domestic stories.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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